My weight loss journey has been long and arduous; derailed by illness, crisis, and a neighborhood Krispy Kreme. It also has lasted almost 20 years. Okay. Maybe the weight loss hasn’t lasted 20 years, but the weight gain certainly has.
I understand the complete hopelessness that comes with too much weight gained and too much weight to lose. This past year it finally started happening for me. Results! I have lost almost 80 pounds and have about another 40 or so to lose. You can check out my weight loss journey here.
There is not an easy formula. Some of us have bodies that are broken and sick from years of abuse, illness and life. When we look around at all of the weight loss programs, advice, etc…it can be overwhelming. I had more than one strike against me. For one, I was Extremely Fluffy and Poor. I would see of some famous person losing a big amount of weight I would think, “Well. Of course she can do it! I could too if I had her unlimited grocery budget, personal chef and army of trainers.”
I’m here to tell you that regardless of your grocery budget and workout situation it can be done. It’s harder. There isn’t a magic pill or a “get out of jail free” card. It takes hard work and patience. Especially patience.
10 Tips for Weight Loss for the Fluffy & Frugal
Use the Good, Better, Best method. My grocery budget can’t handle Wild Salmon and Quinoa every week. Many times we look at weight loss plans or read articles on good nutrition and get overwhelmed with the advice. “How can I afford Salmon? I know it’s good for me, but I can barely afford toilet paper this week!” Sure Wild Salmon is the best, but how about replacing it with another healthy (but cheaper) fish? Just be sure your diet is made up of whole foods.
I purchase my groceries from one of our local grocery stores, Aldis and discount (salvage) groceries. I hardly ever visit the health food store. It is just too costly to shop there. You might feel like you are being healthier and providing better quality food for your family, but at what cost price? Can you sustain that kind of grocery bill? Do you eat lovely organic food one week, but have to rely on ramen and hot dogs the next? Work out a plan that you can maintain for life.
The Clock is Ticking. Some of us have limited time. I understand. But here is the best advice I can give you. The better you plan for your week ahead the more successful you will be. Take a few hours every week and prepare some quick and easy meals ahead. Chop up your fresh veggies and fruit ahead of time. Schedule it on your calendar. If I don’t take the time to do this I find make poor choices.
No. You Can’t Drink Your Way to Good Health. Lose the liquid calories. Don’t waste your calories or your money on beverages. The quickest way to add unnecessary fuel to your body is through Soda (I call it Pop), juices, etc. I know this is painful, but it will pass. Learn to drink water. It’s God’s juice. I hear this frequently. “I just can’t drink water.” Flavor it with a little lemon and increase your intake a little bit every day. You will be surprised how much better it will taste once your health begins to improve.
You Don’t Have Stock in Twinkies. I don’t want to offend, but you need to hear this. Your family will not starve without the junk food in the house. My husband is a gem. He told me early on that he would rather have a healthy wife than a week’s supply of his favorite snack cakes. This is not to say that we don’t splurge occasionally on a not so healthy treat (there was that trip to Sonic for half price milkshakes last night), but for the most part junk food is not allowed. It helps with our grocery budget and it keeps the temptation far away from me. There are other, better alternatives for the “gotta have a snack” folk in your house.
Don’t Reinvent the Wheel. The web is full of wonderful FREE resources that you can use to assist you in your weight loss. I do have this bit of advice. Choose only a few sources that you trust and use. There is so much conflicting information about weight loss. If you read every article that comes down the pike, (say about coconut oil) it will become confusing and overwhelming. I also don’t have time to revamp all my favorite meals. I like to use some sites that have done all the heavy lifting for me. My favorite recipe resources? Skinnytaste, & Dashing Dish
You Don’t Have to be Martha Stewart (but Learn to Cook!) I’m a big proponent of culinary education for the young. Whether or not you like to cook is irrelevant. Those who can cook their own food (males and female) have more control over their nutrition and their health. You are not at the mercy of prepackaged meals and convenience foods. Make it your mission.
Simon Says: Baby Steps. If you are revamping your lifestyle make one change at a time. The sure-fire way to crash and burn is to go “whole hog” [just a little diet joke}] right out of the gate. You can’t sustain that much change. And it is better for your wallet. Let’s say you want to start by adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet. Try one new veggie a week. Make it a fun family experience. If you chose to add specialty items to your diet don’t purchase them all at once. Buy one a week or every few weeks and make them stretch. For example, I use flax meal that I buy at a local bulk grocery. It is not that it’s so expensive, but I have to budget it out. I can’t purchase it the same week I buy, say, my coconut oil.
The Buddy System. Speaking of coconut oil, I buy mine from a friend who gets hers from a co-op. I pay less than half of what I would get it at my local grocery store or health food market. Find friends who buy similar ingredients and share.
You Got to Move it Move it, Move it Move it. I have plenty of excuses not to. This is my biggest hurdle and the area I am least consistent in. I could tell you that “walking is free,” but even this is something I can’t do very well. I have difficulty walking long distances. But what I can do is move. Be intentional. You will be surprised about how little “organized” exercise you have to do if you just move it. We do have a membership to the Y (you can get a drastically reduced price if you quality for a scholarship), but I also take advantage of the free exercise resources you can find online. One of my favorites is this core strengthening workout I do from my chair. It only lasts 12 minutes.
1 + 1 = 492.Write it Down! Record what you are eating. Those bites and snacks add up. I know you have heard this before, but it really does make a difference. I resisted this for years because I didn’t want to become a slave to anything. I use Sparkpeople.com to record my food. I don’t like math and Sparkpeople adds up all my information. Even if you don’t want to count calories or carbs you can still use it to keep track of your food.